What a crazy wonderful night!
My daughter and I arrived early for an Anne Rice and Christopher Rice signing on the evening of October 17th.
We got seats in the center third row, right behind the reserved seats. We had a great view of the stage.
They were recording the interview for public radio which was fun to listen in on. Then they opened things up to a Q & A. Afterwards we got in line for the actual signing.
I’d made the determination that I would present my book The Dagger of Aita: Retribution to Anne Rice as a gift. She had been a major influence and inspiration to me ever since I’d read Interview with the Vampire when I was a teen. She wrote monsters in a way I’d never experienced before and she was a woman who’d broken the glass ceiling of fantasy writing (along with Anne McCaffrey). It was a revelation to a young would-be writer.
I figured if she couldn’t accept it or chose not to, I would have her sign it just for fun.
Too my surprise, she graciously accepted my gift. I told her I had signed it but had not written a personal note in it as I was not sure she would accept it. She smiled and handed the book back to me then said, “Write something in it.”
I was stunned. Call it crazy or insecure or whatever. The part of me that believed she might actually accept it also conceded she’d probably give it away, maybe to a staffer or Goodwill or something. It never occurred to me she’d want me to personalize the book (hence the reason I hadn’t written a personal note in the book). But, she’d asked me to personalize it.
So, here I am at the Anne Rice book signing, writing a personal note in MY book for her!
As it is now personalized, I hope Retribution will grace the shelves of her home along with her other beloved books. Though I hope she reads it, I don’t expect that she will. She said in her interview that she likes to read but has very little time to do so. I accept this as part of what being Anne Rice is. If she does manage to squeak out time and chooses to read my book, I hope she finds as much enjoyment in those hours as she has given me over the years with each of her books.
I’m grateful to be able to give something of myself to her, just as she has done for me for many, many years. Her gracious acceptance and kindness meant the world to me. It’s more than I ever could have hoped for. Whether or not my little book is a success or an utter failure, I will have this night, this moment, to look back on…and remember.